Developer sees tear-down, build-up in Boyle Heights

Project part of wave of development that’s brought gentrification concerns to heart of LA’s Eastside

Los Angeles /
Oct.October 26, 2021 08:30 AM
Will Tiao of Tiao Properties with the site of the development (Google Maps, Tiao)
Will Tiao of Tiao Properties with the site of the development (Google Maps, Tiao)

A developer is planning to knock down a 111-year-old building and build a six-story mixed-use complex on a main commercial drag of Boyle Heights.

Tiao Properties, a real estate investment and management firm based in the toney Silverlake district west of Downtown Los Angeles, filed a project application with the city planning department in July; the application appeared in public records last week.

The project, located at 2115-2125 E. Cesar Chavez E. Chavez Avenue, would feature commercial space on the ground floor and five floors of residential units, along with subterranean parking. The 56,000-square-foot development would include 50 residential units.

The developer is seeking density incentives under the City of L.A.’s Transit Oriented Communities Program, which grants certain zoning exemptions for projects near public transit. The project site, at the intersection of E. Cesar E. Chavez and N. Chicago Street, is close to bus stops and the Soto / Cesar E. Chavez light-rail Metro station.

Tiao Properties calls itself “a boutique, family-owned and operated real estate company that offers a full menu of investment and management services.” The firm is run by Will and Diana Tiao, a married couple. Will Tiao did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Will Tiao bought the property through an LLC for $2.1 million in February 2020, according to public documents. The seller was a family trust.

The project site currently houses a low-slung building with ground floor commercial spaces and three residential units located above them.

The building went up in 1910 and was last modified in 1976, according to documents.

Boyle Heights is the residential and cultural center of the city’s largely Mexican-American Eastside, and ranks among L.A.’s oldest and densest communities. In recent years the traditionally blue-collar area has seen a wave of development and corresponding gentrification-related controversy, including one high-profile battle over the arrival of a coffee shop.

USC’s recent expansion of its medical campus in the area has also stoked the controversy. A 200-key Hyatt House Hotel also opened there last December, and around the same time a developer proposed one six-story, 85-unit mixed-use project nearby.

Tiao Properties’ six-story project would represent a major transformation for its corner of the neighborhood, which remains characterized primarily by older, low-rise commercial and residential buildings.





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